Hiking doesn’t just promote better health but is also a great way to bond with your dog.
And if you are thinking of going on a hike in Marin County and are looking to bring your furry friend along, then you’ve landed on the right page.
- Tips for Hiking with Your Dog
- The Complete Dog Hiking Gear List
- 10 Best Hiking Dogs
- 9 Best Small Dogs for Hiking
Below you will find the 6 best dog-friendly hikes in Marin County.
1. Dawn Falls Trail
The Dawn Falls Trail in Baltimore Canyon Open Space is a 2.5-mile out-and-back trail, located near Larkspur. It is mostly flat, very well shaded, filled with gorgeous redwoods, ferns, and moss, and you will see a waterfall at the end.
If you think that’s too short, you can choose to make it a slightly longer 2.7-mile loop instead. Hike up past the falls and turn left when you hit the Southern Marin Line Fire Road, then complete the loop via the Barbara Springs Trail.
2. Fairway Falls Trail
The Fairway Falls Trail is located in Ignacio Valley Preserve in Novato. It is a short dog-friendly 1.3-mile out-and-back trail that leads you to a seasonal waterfall at the end, which is the Fairway Waterfall, also known as Arroyo de San Jose Waterfall. Best to visit in winter and spring after rain, as that is when the falls will be running in full force.
3. Miwok and Coastal Trail Loop
Another place that you can hike with your furry friend is in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Miwok and Coastal Trail Loop is approximately 5.6 miles long and offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Rodeo Beach. Note that there’s no shade the entire trail, so make sure to bring plenty of water and apply sunscreen.
4. Bolinas Ridge Trail
Prefer a longer hike? Check out the Bolinas Ridge Trail. It is an 11-mile point-to-point trail that will take you through a redwood grove and offers beautiful ocean and mountain views. Beware of the cows at the entrance, and mountain bikers also share this trail, so be careful and keep your pup close to you.
5. Carson Falls Trail
One of the must-hike places in winter is perhaps the Carson Falls Trail, located near Fairfax. It is roughly 3.8 miles round trip and begins from the Pine Mountain Fire Road. Then, take a left onto the Oat Hill Fire Road. And after a short while, you will find a small trail that splits off to the right, which leads you to the falls. Best to visit after rain, and you will see a dramatic waterfall!
6. Phoenix Lake Loop via Gertrude-Ord Trail
The Phoenix Lake Loop via Gertrude-Ord Trail is an easy and popular trail in Mount Tamalpais Watershed near Ross. It is only about 2.6 miles, going around the beautiful lake with gorgeous views all along the trail. Also, it is mostly flat and well maintained, making it very beginner-friendly.
While it is fun to hike with your dog, you don’t want to stress them out with trails that they can’t handle. Always start with something they can manage and train them routinely before taking them on a more challenging trail. Also, you would probably want to check out our tips for hiking with dogs, especially if you are a new hiker. Lastly, be sure to bring your dog’s water bottle, harness, or a backpack if they are strong enough, and a GPS tracker to keep them safe.